Delta variant poses major risk to Biden’s promises of swift economic comeback

But the delta variant may challenge those heady expectations, threatening the recovery along several dimensions. The ongoing pandemic could dampen consumer spending if fears reemerge about the safety of returning to some activities. The variant’s proliferation abroad has already hurt U.S. supply chains, and shortages could exacerbate inflation by increasing the price of production. And a jump in hospitalizations and deaths among the unvaccinated poses a particular challenge for the Biden administration in more conservative parts of the country, where resistance to new restrictions is strong and federal relief aid is starting to expire…

Monday’s 726-point decline in the Dow Jones industrial average was the worst one-day retreat in 2021. The S&P and Nasdaq also fell sharply. Among the hardest hit were sectors of the economy sensitive to virus-related concerns, such as hospitality, leisure and travel.

Fears are in particular intensifying over whether the delta variant will hurt the global economy, which could in turn complicate the U.S. recovery. Indonesia faces a “catastrophic” surge in the virus threatening to overwhelm its medical system. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson went back into quarantine after his health secretary tested positive. Iran’s government announced a week-long lockdown in its capital. Cases globally have risen markedly since June.